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Linebackers Are NOT a weakness

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Feb 25, 2008.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Belichick prefers veteran linebackers. We already have a pretty strong set of linebackers. I am not saying that we shouldn't pick up a veteran and a top draftee, but we aren't in terrible shape. I expect Seau back. He's in better shape than almost anyone on the team. I have confidence in pioli's ability to find a linebacker who would fit in as a backup.

    STARTERS (this is a top group)
    Colvin, Thomas, Seau, Vrabel
    Remember, Colvin has replaced Bruschi, a major improvement.

    BACKUPS
    Woods, Alexander, Lua, Slaughter

    SPECIAL TEAMS
    Izzo
     
  2. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Colvin is an OLB in the 3-4. Bruschi is an ILB. Colvin does not replace Bruschi.
     
  3. BoTown

    BoTown In the Starting Line-Up

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    It's a deep, solid core of linebackers, so in the overall sense it is certainly not a weakness. But the speed (or lack thereof) of the linebacker core is a very legitimate concern.
     
  4. D-cleater

    D-cleater Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Maybe LB's are not a weakness, but LB depth certainly is. When one of the four starters misses significant injury time, or goes on IR , you feel comfortable with [Woods, Alexander, Lua, Slaughter] as your new starter? What has any of these four done in our system to prove that they can succeed in a starting role?
     
  5. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Have it your way. Colvin goes outside and Thomas replaces Bruschi. Is Thomas an upgrade over Bruschi?

     
  6. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He wasn't last season.
     
  7. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    Linebacker stamina is also a concern.

    It's a long season, as we've found out the last two years.
     
  8. celticboy04

    celticboy04 On the Game Day Roster

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    Greetings,
    Ditto you hit it on the head with that one. Endurance is another concern also especially toward the end of the season our LB's looked a little worn out especially against the run.
    Shalom,
    Celticboy04
     
  9. DocE

    DocE Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I think the LB's are a concern, and will be exposed whenever the Patriots end up in a close game. The team jumped out to a lot of big leads last year, allowing the defense to avoid the pounding of physical running games. I don't think counting on Seau as a starter next year is a sound strategy. I agree that the staff prefers veteran LB's, so we (as fans) shouldn't expect to see a rookie or 2nd year guy starting next year. That said, I would hope that the Patriots could add an inside LB (via trade or free agency) that is considered a veteran, but also can run and upgrade the team speed. Thomas fit that mold last year as an OLB and he saw time at ILB as well.

    I guess you could argue that the LB's are not a weakness if you believe Thomas can be an every down guy inside. I believe he's better on the outside which leaves us with 2 aging starters inside (one so old it's basically unheard of to still be playing) and nobody of consequence behind them.
     
  10. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think Thomas was hurt most of last season which impeded his ability to make big plays and play consistently.. this year will be different.
     
  11. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Deep?? Solid?? the starters are solid and that is really good...but speed is an issue...but more so is what will happen if one of the four goes down...Are any of the 4 ready to step in and start? Alexander did two years ago...but only that one start....Woods filled in ONLY a bit...Lua?? Slaughter?? With Bruschi they had a bit of depth of having 5 in 4 positions..without him..The D would be quite weakened as of now..
     
  12. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp In the Starting Line-Up

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    I can see your point in terms of the regular season, but in the playoffs, here's what the Pats' D did:

    Jax - 20 points allowed, 22 rushes, 80 yds, 3.6 average
    SD - 12 points allowed, 22 rushes, 104 yds, 4.7 average - but 2 carries for 34 yards were by Sproles in the last 1:46 of the first half, coming on draws out of the shotgun when the Pats were in dime coverage...hardly a LB issue there. Take those two runs out and it turns into 20 rushes, 70 yds, 3.5 average.
    NYG - 17 points allowed, 26 rushes, 91 yds, 3.5 average

    So if you remove Sproles' two carries, which had very little to do with linebacking, and you end up with a grand total of 68 rushes for 241 yds, for an average of 3.5 yards per carry.

    That doesn't look like a linebacking group that got overrun at the end of the season.
     
  13. Scouse Patriot

    Scouse Patriot 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I think we have a weakness, especially if Bruschi actualy does hang them up. Depth. Seau is playing like he's 24 but theres no guarantee if he comes back he can produce that form again. In his head he'll tell you he can but the body might have other ideas.

    Behind Colvin, Thomas, Seau and Vrabel we are weak and counting on Seau to reproduce the intesity he had last season is a bit naive. Maybe the likes of Slaughter could step up but would you take that chance....
     
  14. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes he was.

    Bruschi couldn't cover Jared Lorenzen on a go route.
     
  15. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress In the Starting Line-Up

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    The Pats do not have enough pass rushing depth. Bill Walsh once said playoff games are won with a 4th Quarter pass rush. There is no greater illustration of that than what we witnessed this season. ILB can be filled with the likes of Hobson et al. OLB depth should be upgraded with an elite athlete. Until it is, the position is a weakness IMO. Whether it be Long, Gholston, Groves, Harvey, Campbell, whoever, IMO the Pats must come out of rd 1 with an elite pass rusher.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2008
  16. marcus

    marcus On the Game Day Roster

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    I think that the backups are a major concern. they are all completely unproven and have never really demonstrated "flashes" that should give anyone confidence that they could step in and play at a high level.

    Also, we do not know how Colvin will respond from his injury. If he has lost speed, it will definitely negatively impact the speed rush.
     
  17. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    Great point. You notice that in our last 2 losses we gambled with the blitz and lost. In Indy, Belichick chose to rush 6, drop 5 and it was completely ineffective as Peyton torched us in 3 plays. In the SB, the all-out blitz was a major mistake because it didn't even rattle Eli (not to mention failing to wrap-up on the near-sack).
     
  18. dhamz

    dhamz In the Starting Line-Up

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    The Pats play a 3-4 defense.

    As of right now, they have 3 LBs under contract who are starting caliber players, backed up by a bunch of special teamers who no one wants to see starting.

    At minimum the Pats need to find 2 players who could start at LB for them this offseason. Maybe Seau is one, maybe not. 3 would be better. With the age the Pats currently have at LB, injuries are going to continue to be an issue to insure against, something that has been an issue the past 2 years.
     
  19. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Any way you slice it, ILB is a concern right now. No guarantees Seau returns and even if he does, I don't want him as a fulltime starter. If we could get two solid guys for the ILB spot like Victor Hobson and possibly someone who can rotate with Seau if he comes back, then the LB corp would be solid. Otherwise, we are weak inside and with depth.
     
  20. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Pro Bowl Player

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    The linebacker depth will need to come through the NFL draft. Aside from someone like a Victor Hobson, I don't see much linebacker talent in free agency with experience in the 3-4 defense. Personally, it's time for Bruschi to retire while Seau could provide valuable depth as a backup.
     
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